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tv   ABC7 News 500PM  ABC  September 15, 2014 5:00pm-5:31pm PDT

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so anything below 3% is actually having us fall further behind the cost of living. >> reporter: 450 workers from 13 unions are impacted, from electricians and engineers to ferry captains and deck hands. the district says its offer is fair and generous. >> our deck hands currently make 20% more than the union members at the other agencies that operate frry service. iron workers make 10% more than any of the iron workers, the federal members in the san francisco credit sector. >> reporter: the union says it accepted concessions in previous contracts and that this time, the district has the money to offer more. >> they have $138 million of extra revenue partially because they have laid off the toll takers here, they have higher revenues at the ferry and the tolls. >> reporter: but the district says that money is allocated. >> we have the barrier. >> reporter: that strike will
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take place from 6:00 a.m. until 3:30 tomorrow right by the toll plaza. again, they are saying commuters are spared any disruption at least for now. live at the golden gate bridge, carolyn tyler, abc 7 news. a bmw went barreling through the front doors of the comstock saloon on columbus avenue in san francisco this afternoon. two people injured. the driver of the car has been arrested. abc 7 news reporter sergio quintana is live to explain exactly what happened. sergio, close call. >> reporter: yeah, that driver was arrested but it wasn't actually for charges related to this crash. instead, he was taken into custody for an outstanding warrant for drug possession out of sacramento but i will show you, these crews worked really really quick to patch up the gaping hole that was left from the car going into this bar. workers at the comstock were just wrapping up the lunch rush when this red bmw came crashing into the historic saloon. according to police, one
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customer suffered minor injuries and another was taken to the hospital, but officers didn't have details on those injuries. witnesses say the driver was heading southbound on columbus and completely missed the turn on to pacific avenue. >> i didn't hear any screeching of brakes or anything like that. it just happened so fast. i thought he went clear through the restaurant and out the other end. >> as a result of our investigation we conducted a warrant check and we determined that the driver of this vehicle is actually wanted out of sacramento county, $250,000 warrant for possession of marijuana for sale. >> reporter: police say the driver will be tested to see if he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. he was able to walk out of the crash unscathed and waited outside while police investigated. he was arrested about 45 minutes after the crash. the bmw was hauled out of the restaurant and towed away so it's really interesting the see just how quick these workers have fixed it, because this car was just towed out of here about a couple hours ago.
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live in san francisco, i'm sergio quintana, abc 7 news. >> thank you so much. firefighters believe a raging fire north of redding destroyed 100 structures. those flames are threatening more than 1,000 homes. it's so bad, evacuation shelters have been set up. there are reports that the town's mill, outbuildings and the main building is on fire. that fire has forced the california highway patrol to close interstate 5 in the area. no containment at this point. a second fire in el dorado county is really worrying firefighters. it has grown to nearly 4,000 acres. this fire is just 10% contained and is threatening 500 homes. it's moving so fast that some firefighters had to be rescued by helicopter. another view shows the smoke billowing from the ground. a strike team out of alameda county left to fight this fire. laura anthony is live for us tonight. laura?
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>> reporter: this fire continues to be a very dangerous situation here. let's show you exactly what's going on behind me. as you said, this afternoon, a cal fire captain and crew had to be evacuated by helicopter. i will tell you more about that in a minute. right now, there's a fierce fire fight going on just behind us here. for most of the day it appeared the fire was moving away from pollock pines to the north and east into u.s. forest service land but just within the past hour, it's blown up right behind us here, about a mile behind us. firefighters have launched a fierce battle from the air that includes water drops from helicopters that are shuttling back and forth and there are the red retardant drops, that material meant to douse the flames. still, you can see there is gigantic plumes of smoke miles high and wide. every so often we see a burst of flames and black smoke. locals tell me there are homes there but at this point, there's no way of knowing if there are any structures burning.
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among those watching here, anxious residents, including many evacuees. >> we kind of had a heads up that we were going to probably have to evacuate so we got our kind of bearings on what we wanted to take, picture and clothes and things like that, personal items, and so when it came to getting 15 minutes of we need to get out, we just took all the stuff, got our dogs and ourselves and on we went. >> reporter: how you feeling? are you concerned? >> yeah. kind of. well, yeah. there used to be animals down here we couldn't bring up with us. we got most the cats out of there. we have about six cats. one of them got away. >> i have a cat and i wanted to get my cat out. and some pictures. that's all i worried about, really. some clothes, too. >> reporter: now, earlier today, we saw firefighters on the ground actually setting back fires in the area where the fire has pretty much already burned through near some homes there. at that point, we didn't think any structures had burned. by this afternoon, though, we're
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not so sure. i'm told by the locals here, if we can show you this live picture, there are definitely some homes and structures in that area behind us. as for that fire crew that escaped the burnover as it were, we are told again it was a cal fire captain, a dozer operator and a prison crew, inmate crew that often come out to fight these fires. we were told they had to deploy their fire shelters, the small tents and after the fire burned over, they were actually rescued by one of the helicopters that you see doing the firefighting from the air. that helicopter had to drop its load of water and was able to pick up those firefighters. we understand no serious injuries to those folks and they were flown out. laura anthony, abc 7 news. now let's go to mendocino county where an evacuation order has been lifted near a fire that has destroyed at least five structures. the black fire as it's been called broke out saturday and has burned more than 400 achors. it's now 50% contained.
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these are pictures from the ukiah daily journal. three people have been hurt. about 450 firefighters are on the lines battling that blaze. a preliminary report is out on the crash that killed a san jose pilot at the reno air races. the national transportation safety report says portions of the right wing on the plane broke off the aircraft. the 64-year-old pilot was killed a week ago today during qualification heats. the air races which took place this past weekend. the ntsb says a final accident report is about a year away. police are on the search for two robbers who befriended, then victimized and attacked an elderly couple. police say the man and woman struck up a conversation with a couple in their 90s outside their richmond street home on friday. the robbers talked their way inside the house, then stole the couple's wallets. the next day they returned, walked inside and attacked, bound and stabbed the couple. the thieves took a safe from the home. anyone who may know them is asked to call the police
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immediately. new fallout tonight among state utility regulators and pg & e four years after the fatal explosion and fire in san bruno. a shakeup amidst allegations of a cozy relationship between the two. the head of the public utilities and three pg & e officials are caught up in this latest controversy over regulating gas pipepines. abc 7 news reporter vic lee is live with more. >> reporter: believe it or not, this set of e-mails has absolutely nothing to do with the san bruno fire and explosion. in fact, the release of these e-mails came suddenly without warning. they surprised a lot of people. now, these e-mails deal with a separate case. they deal with a pg & e gas transmission rate case that is still being heard by the cpuc. the e-mails occurred over a three-week period in january of last year. pg & e sent a number of e-mails to the cpuc regarding the
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assignment of an administrative law judge in a gas transmission rate case that is still ongoing. the exchanges were between cpuc president michael peavy's chief of staff, carol brown, and pg & e's brian cherry. here are some of the e-mails which cpuc and the utility found inappropriate. this one from cherry to brown. asking about the availability of a judge wong. please, please check, this is a major problem for us. florio said he would agree to help peterman if wong got it. brown responded, take a deep breath. i'm working on it. this e-mail at a later date, again from cherry to brown. any news on the reassignment? brown to cherry, working on it. i hope all the mess is worth it. cherry, you will owe me if you do, smiley face. three days later, from chief of staff brown to cherry. pg & e got who they wanted. wong and peterman. then this response from cherry, thank you, thank you, thank you.
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in light of the e-mails, cpuc today announced president peavy would recuse himself from the proceedings and he asked for and got the resignation of chief of staff brown. pg & e says it voluntarily released the e-mails to the cpuc after reviewing 65,000 e-mails in the past two months. the utility took its own set of actions. >> we separated three officers from the company. we created the role of chief regulatory compliance officer which will report to our ceo and audit committee and we also asked former secretary of interior ken salazar to be a special advisor to us on regulatory affairs. >> reporter: san bruno city officials were pleased. they had won their lawsuit against the cpuc which released e-mails related to the investigation of the san bruno explosion. e-mails that they claimed showed a cozy relationship between the regulator and the utility. >> so it's troubling to us to now find months and months later that in fact, what we suspected
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is actually being validated and that it was even going on at the same time as we were raising the concerns and issues. >> reporter: city officials say they won't be satisfied until an independent monitor is assigned permanently to oversee cpuc's affairs with pg & e. vic lee, abc 7 news. well, did you pay too much in taxes when you bought a car? coming up, 7 on your side's michael finney explains how to get a refund. ready for this? the package may have been labeled as soap but its contents were far from clean. plus -- out of nowhere, i was tossed into the air. >> when he looked back, this is what he saw. a bite taken out of his board. tonight, the popular beach closed after a shark attack. >> abc 7 news at 5:00 continues in 60 seconds.
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state senator rod wright is resigning just days after being sentenced to three months in jail for lying about where he lived when he ran for office. the senate accepted wright's resignation letter. his last day will be september 22nd. governor brown now needs to call a special election in order to fill his seat. wright represented the 35th senate district which includes several cities in los angeles county. narcotics traffickers seem to be getting more creative in their efforts to smuggle illegal drugs into northern california. the latest example arrived at san francisco international airport last week inside this box of soap. federal agents got suspicious after they took an x-ray of the box. so they opened it up, and cut open a bar of soap. this is what they found. a bag of opium. each of the 66 bars of soap had been hollowed out and filled with bags of the drug. >> the soap bars look like whole
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bars that came in actual boxes of soap just like you would buy in a supermarket. they cut open the soap and found each individual bar was filled with opium. >> customs agents found almost nine pounds of opium inside the soap. they haven't estimated how much it's worth on the street. federal authorities are now looking for the intended recipient of the drug. >> can you believe that. santa cruz beach is closed for the next five days because of a shark attack. bill browning says a great white knocked him off his surf board and took a chunk out of it. you can see the damage to his board. browning says the shark just came out of nowhere. >> i was tossed into the air by probably 10, 15 feet, and i looked down and saw a shark. it rolled over on my board and i think took a bite on the way down. >> he was tethered to his board so when the shark started swimming it pulled him under water for several seconds. >> he finally let go and i let go of my leash and i was able to
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get up on the surf board. >> he swam about 150 feet to shore and to safety. thank goodness. this happened on saturday. seabright beach has signs posted telling people not to swim for three days after a shark was seen attacking a seal there. beach goers didn't get the vacation they expected when a hurricane came ashore. i talked to david muir about that earlier this afternoon. >> we will have more on that direct hit, the hurricane making landfall as a category 3. millions of americans now in the path there in the southwest. flash flooding, winds, some americans were already forced into emergency shelters and we will hear from them. also, tonight, the manhunt in an american city after at least one shooter kills a state trooper. we will take you inside that investigation tonight. >> david, what about the folks who found a creative way to break into homes? >> yeah, this is really something tonight. we will show you caught on tape, the thieves posing as maids,
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helpers, trying to get into your own to help you and then robbing you. you will see the video and warning coming up. >> world news tonight with david muir is coming up after this broadcast at 5:30 on abc 7 news. the state agency that collects your sales tax tells us that some car buyers, maybe you, were charged too much tax. >> now you can find out whether or not you are entitled to a refund. michael finney is here with that. >> this moved really fast. it was late last week that the accusation was made. now they're like oh, you want your money back? why didn't you say so. the state board of equalization is asking car buyers to check their tax rate. you may have paid too much. as i reported late last week, the dmv has been charging sales tax based on zip codes instead of the buyer's address. tax rates can vary within a zip code so some buyers may have paid too much. >> we even had instances where the people have used a map to show where they live and unfortunately, the department of motor vehicles has just said
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well, you will have to pay the higher rate and then you will have to apply for a refund. >> now you can find out how much tax you should have paid and compare it to your actual fees. if you paid too much, you need to demand a refund. all that information is on the state board of equalization website. to make it easy i posted the links at abc7news.com. federal transportation officials are investigating another possible defect in another popular car. this one involves recent models of the forwad fiesta. officials say the doors may suddenly open while driving. 61 complaints have been received of loose door latches. in 12 cases, a door opened while the car was moving. one injury was reported but no deaths. the problem may affect more than 200,000 cars from model years 2011 to 2013. so far, the cars have not been recalled.
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finally, the cabbie and the waiter, what about the person that cleans your hotel room? now marriott hotels are trying to get you to hip your housekeepers. they are setting envelopes in the guest rooms asking customers to give $1 to $5 per day to the clearance. marriott says housekeepers do a lot to make travelers comfortable but go unnoticed. the workers union says tipping is nice but they would like to see a higher base wage, too. >> i'm glad they pointed that out. >> when i was 16, i took my driver's test, i had a '68 plymouth valiant. the door flew open. scared me to death. i thought i would flunk for sure. terrified. >> did you pass? >> i did. he was happy to be alive. let's talk about the weather forecast. >> meteorologist sandhya patel joins us outside now. >> hi, there. it's absolutely beautiful out
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here. there is so much sun. temperatures today have made it up into the low 70s to the low 90s in places like antioch but those numbers are going down and we may be seeing some raindrops falling around the middle of the week. certainly need that. right now, live doppler 7 hd showing you pretty clear skies across the bay area so the low clouds that we had this morning, long gone. i do want to turn your attention to a beach hazard statement that has been extended until tomorrow morning. long period southwesterly flow could bring a risk of strong rip currents, particularly marin and santa cruz counties. those are the areas under the beach hazard statement. stinson beach, the santa cruz beach boardwalk, those are areas to be careful. golden gate bridge cam showing blue skies over the bridge there. 70 in san francisco. 76 in oakland. same temperature in san jose. 81, morgan hill. as we take a look at this view from the santa cruz cam, it sure looks like people are enjoying their monday at the beach. it has been a mild to warm day. 77 in santa rosa.
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currently, low 80s, concord, livermore and we are certainly seeing a little bit of haze in the atmosphere. low clouds return overnight tonight. cooler the next few days. we are looking at the shower possibility between late wednesday night and thursday morning. so here's the system that may bring us some wet weather. we will call it the midweek system. high pressure will weaken and that system produces the possibility of rain. we are keeping an eye on moisture from odile. it's currently a hurricane, just slammed the baja peninsula with heavy rain, flooding. that will continue, but as it continues to weaken, the desert southwest is looking at showers, thunderstorms around midweek and although that moisture is not expected to make it to the bay area, the system to our west is expected to produce some possibility of some wet weather around here. tonight it's clear until the wee hours of the morning. clouds fill back in along the coast and even parts of the bay. then we will see sunshine tomorrow afternoon with a few passing high clouds. certainly a cooler afternoon for
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your tuesday. look beyond tuesday, there's the system, wednesday morning it's still offshore. wednesday night, could start to see a few drops up around cloverdale area but it's really not until later wednesday night, early thursday morning, 5:00 a.m. thursday, commute time does not look very good. if we get any showers, expect it to be on the order of zero to about a tenth of an inch at best. then the showers will wind down by about 11:00 in the morning. tomorrow morning, mid 50s to low 60s. clouds will be around around the coast and the bay. i don't think it's going to be terribly cold for thrill one li ones. high temperatures tomorrow afternoon, 79, san jose. 77 in sun i valley. you will see the sun in downtown san francisco. 70 degrees, occasional high clouds in the north bay. low 80s, santa rosa, napa. 74 in the east bay and oakland. inland spots, 85 livermore.
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accuweather seven-day forecast, temperatures continue to cool. thursday morning looks like our best chance of some showers and then we will start to return to a normal pattern. the weekend will feature a little bit of a warmup. >> excellent. thank you, sandhya. still ahead, a guy about to et good h get his car towed takes drastic action. wait until you see what he does. plus all those people glued to their phones bumping into the r rest of us. one city in china may have figured out a solution. then new at 6:00, the future of driverless cars and why they have the insurance industry so perplexed. we'll be right back.
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check this driver out in london. he's either brave or just plain crazy. his car was being towed so he climbed in and drove his car right off the bed of the truck. that's going to leave a mark. it was a three-foot drop. the car hit the ground with a scraping sound as the driver backed down the street.
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that driver who faced a fine for a parking violation could now face a criminal offense if police pursue the case. he also probably needs to spend some money on repair work now. a city in china has a special lane just for distracted drivers who just cannot put down their phone. distracted walkers, i'm sorry, for people who can't put down their phone. the cell phone lane is in southwestern china. it has warning signs printed white as you can see. the lanes are on a popular road for tourists. one blogger writes that many people on their phones don't even notice the markings, that's how distracted they are. some kids in san francisco got a big surprise today. volunteers gave out 500 backpacks filled with school supplies to students at car ver carver elementary school. the backpacks were stuffed by the san francisco 49ers, 49ers
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alumni and levi's employees. the packs were donated by levi's and the supplies came from ubi, a company that makes tools to spark creativity and learning. >> a shame those kids weren't excited. isn't it nice to see those smiles? >> i love it. a new season of "dancing with the stars" kicks off in just a matter of hours. >> one contestant might have a lock on it. how the actor is training for success.
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i'm ama daetz in the abc 7 newsroom. the golden gate labor dispute keeps changing. we will have details on the one-day strike and what you can expect. also, today's astronomical prices were textbook. michael finney shows us how to beat them. it takes some homework. a bay area horse rescue.
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tonight you will see how your response to our story is giving these horses a second chance. that's all coming up on abc 7 news at 6:00. well, 13 celebrities are getting ready to show off their dance moves. >> the new season of "dancing with the stars" premieres tonight and fresh prince of bel-air fans are in for a treat. >> alphonso ribeiro is vying for the trophy. >> he was asked if he will break out his famous carlton routine to win the votes. >> i will be doing some signature moves as long as america keeps me on, but in the beginning we plan on just doing the dances that are typically done in the ballroom. >> he first got the call to be on the show and the5'7" tall actor weighed 202 pounds. he says he started training right away and lost more than 20 pounds. >> the new season starts tonight at 8:00. watch it live on abc 7, your smart phone tablet or computer with watch abc.com.
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that's our report. >> thanks for joining us. welcome to "world news tonight." direct hit. the monster hurricane making landfall. millions of americans tonight bracing for flooding, whipping winds. and the tourists trapped. also tonight, the wildfires. families racing from their homes. we're on the front lines. the famous nfl star fighting back tonight. accused of whipping his son with a stick, a switch. tonight, in his own words, how he explains it. and the decision coming in from his team. breaking now. the manhunt under way at this hour. a cop killer, armed and dangerous. a short time ago, investigators saying he is a coward. we will find you. and caught on tape tonight. they show up at your front door, posing as maids. people who can help you with the house. and this is what they do once inside. you'll see the video tonight. and the new warning right here.

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